Canal Cruise Amsterdam

Amsterdam is known for its many canals. The city centre is practically a network of canals, along which you’ll find Amsterdam’s monumental canal houses. This historical area is referred to as “Grachtengordel” which would be best translated as “Canal Ring or Canal Belt“. The unique architecture really comes alive while viewed from the water and will leave a great impression.  Therefore people often state that Amsterdam is best seen from the water. The only way of finding out whether that’s true, is by going to see it for yourself. We even dare to state that your trip to Amsterdam isn’t complete if you haven’t been on a canal cruise. This is really something you don’t want to miss out on!

Scroll down to see the various recommended options for a boat tour along the beautiful canals, or go directly to;

Amsterdam houseboats

You can’t leave Amsterdam without going on a canal cruise, as Amsterdam is best seen from the water!

Classical canal boat cruise

The classical canal boat is always a good choice! These comfortable boats with glass ceilings and windows give you the opportunity to view the architectural highlights Amsterdam has to offer. In fall and winter, these boats provide you with cover against the weather so you can enjoy the city without feeling cold or getting wet. Most boat tours offer guided tours and cover the city’s main highlights. Tours depart from multiple spots throughout the city.

There are canal cruises offered both day and night time. Which one is best for you is up to you to decide. Obviously, during the day you’ll see more and have better opportunities to take good pictures. However, if you are visiting Amsterdam with the love of your life, there’s nothing as romantic as cruising the canals at night! One of the best-known boating companies in Amsterdam is Lovers Canal Cruises.

Prices of the canal cruises go from around €15,- up to €90, depending on the duration and beverages included in the tours. Definitely, check out the following cruises and see which fits you best.

Daytime canal trip – 1 hour

The daytime canal tours are offered by different companies. They are the cheapest option for classical canal boats. The boats depart from multiple locations throughout the city, they depart regularly every 20 to 30 minutes. The route goes along all highlights that Amsterdam has to offer. There are audio guides available in over 18 different languages. Purchasing tickets for your Amsterdam canal tour online will save you a couple of bucks and waiting in the queue.

Lovers canal cruises

– Order your tickets with our exclusive discount code ‘THINGSTODO10’ and get 10% extra off –

Semi-open boat tour (cheapest open boat option) – 1 hour

Enjoy Amsterdam from an electric, solar-powered vessel. On these pollution-free boats, you’ll get to enjoy the city comfortably in silence, or as you wish with an audio guide available in several languages. On sunny days, the boat tops will be removed, so that you can freely enjoy the sights of Amsterdam. Therefore these cruises are also a perfect match when you want to take home some magnificent pictures. However, if the weather turns out to be a bit more Dutch than expected, a dry comfortable place is also guaranteed. The semi-open boats depart from the centrally located Raamsdonksteiger, a two-minute walk from Amsterdam Central Station.

Semi open boat cruise by Lovers

– Order your tickets with our exclusive discount code ‘THINGSTODO10’ and get 10% extra off –

Dutch pancake cruise – 75 minutes

Are you looking for a strong traditional Dutch meal including a cruise? Look no further! “De Pannenkoekenboot” or pancake boat, will take you on a cruise over the IJ River, while you can enjoy an all-you-can-eat traditional Dutch dish. The Dutch pancakes are being served with toppings of choice, including syrup,  fruit, chocolate, marmalade, as well as savoury toppings such as bacon, Dutch cheese and more! The boat departs from the Northern part of Amsterdam, which can easily be reached by the free ferry (NDSM F4) departing every 30 minutes from Amsterdam Central Station. The all-you-can-eat concept is a strongly recommended feast for both adults and kids! However, please bear in mind that, due to the size of this ship, you won’t be able to sail the iconic Amsterdam canals.

Pancakeboat cruise Amsterdam

– Order your tickets with our exclusive discount code ‘THINGSTODO10’ and get 10% extra off –

Small open boat cruise – 1 hour

Would you like to cruise in a comfortable open boat? This cruise is the right one for you! In these small electric vessels, you’ll be able to sit back, relax and enjoy some of the most amazing views of the historic city centre of Amsterdam. Thanks to the electric propulsion, there’s no noise and no pollution. During the cruise, you’ll pass some of the most iconic sights in Amsterdam, including the Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge) and the Amstel Hotel. The local captain is accompanied by a host who’ll make sure you won’t get thirsty during the cruise. A variety of drinks and snacks can be purchased during the cruise. (not included in the price). These cruises can be booked from two departure points in the city centre; Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank House.

Small open boat cruise

New York Pizza cruise – 1.5 hour

If you would like to do a canal cruise in the evening, but the dinner cruise is a bit over your budget, the pizza cruise is a perfect alternative. During this 90 minute cruise, you’ll be covering both the historical and newer part of the city whilst enjoying a pizza of choice with a beer or a soda. The beverages are included in the price, so you’ll save money that you don’t have to spend on dinner and you can tick off a must-do in Amsterdam!

Pizza canal cruise lovers

– Order your tickets with our exclusive discount code ‘THINGSTODO10’ and get 10% extra off –

Smoke & lounge boat tour – 1 hour

Amsterdam is widely known for the legalisation of marihuana, which you can buy at one of the many coffeeshops in Amsterdam. This cruise is for those that want to enjoy the pleasure of smoking some on the water. During this 1-hour canal cruise, you’ll be able to watch Amsterdam drift by while enjoying your smoke. However, make sure to bring your own, as marijuana can only be sold at coffeeshops and not aboard the boat. Since smoking pot can make you thirsty, the cruise includes two drinks of choice. Expect a relaxed boat tour with some like-minded people and some relaxing music. Please note; this boat is not a party boat and doesn’t allow intoxicated people aboard.

smoke & lounge boat amsterdam

Wine & Cheese cruise – 1 hour

This 60-minute cruise on a luxurious, modern ship departs regularly from nearby the Anne Frank House. In 60 minutes’ time,  you’ll get to see some of the most iconic parts of Amsterdam, including the Skinny Bridge, Red Light District as well as the Maritime Museum. This cruise can be booked either with or without bites and beverages. For a little extra, you can enjoy drinks of choice and some nice Dutch Cheese. The friendly hosts will welcome you aboard the boat and pour you a drink of choice once the boat sets sail. During the comfortable ride on the Amsterdam canals the hosts can tell you all about the sights and surroundings.

Cheese wine cruise flagship

Wine & Cheese evening cruise – 1.5 hour

During this 90-minute cruise, you’ll get to see Amsterdam from the water after sunset. You’ll get to sail through Amsterdam’s romantic canal belt while enjoying a drink and a bite. Departing from a location near Amsterdam Central Station, the cruise will take you on some of Amsterdam’s finest UNESCO World Heritage-listed waterways with romantically illuminated bridges. Included in the cruise is wine of choice; white, red or rose and mineral water. The wine will be accompanied by some tasty bites; a variety of local Dutch cheeses, grapes, bread and figs. A great way of exploring Amsterdam, while enjoying quality-time with your loved ones.

Wine and Cheese Cruise 3

Open booze cruise – 90 minutes including drinks

Are you looking for a cruise with a bit more excitement than the average, dull, canal cruise? Starboard Boats has got you covered. Their evening booze cruise in a small open boat is tailored for people looking for interaction with other travellers, who are looking to have a good time! During the 90-minute booze cruise, the cold beverages are waiting for you and are all included in the price.  The luxury boats are fitted with comfy cushions and a toilet. The open boats give you the chance to shoot some of the most magnificent pictures of Amsterdam, while a cover will protect you in case of rain.

  • A 90-minute cruise in a comfortable, open boat
  • Free drinks during the cruise
  • Ship fitted with a toilet
  • Centrally located pick up (5 minutes from Amsterdam Central Station)
Weareamsterdam - Starboard boats - small open boat

Dinner cruise on a classic canal boat – 2 hours

If you’re looking to do a canal cruise in the evening, combined with a tasty three-course meal, check out this dinner cruise on a classical canal boat! Departing at 19:30 from Amsterdam Central Station, you’ll get to enjoy some amazing views of Amsterdam at sunset. Once you have boarded the boat, you’ll be served freshly baked bread and a soup for a starter. The main dish can be chosen upon reservation and includes a vegetarian, fish and meat option. Drinks are already included in the price, you can choose between multiple wines, beer or soda of choice as well as a bottle of sparkling or still water for each table.  To top it all off, a sweet dessert will be served to all. All in all a perfect cruise for anyone looking to combine an evening cruise on the romantic Amsterdam waterways with a decent meal!

Lovers dinner cruise

Luxury Dinner Cruise with 3-course fine dining experience – 3 hours

If you’re looking to take your Amsterdam canal tour to the next level, we highly recommend checking out this luxury dinner cruise by Amsterdam Boats. Step aboard one of the high-end saloon boats and prepare for a 3-hour boat trip on the blissful Amsterdam canals, recognized as UNESCO world heritage. This boat tour takes you along some of the finest historic Amsterdam canals, while you sit back and enjoy an à la carte 3-course dinner, with your loved ones. You’re desired courses will be freshly cooked in an acclaimed riverside restaurant and can be paired with some beautiful wines. The welcoming crew of Amsterdam Boats will do anything to ensure that you’ll have a wonderful fine-dining experience on the Amsterdam canals. Any specific dietary wishes can be met, by indicating them on the reservation. The high-end ships can provide you with a comfortable experience with any type of weather; they are fitted with heating, but can also open the roof if the weather allows it. It is also possible to enjoy the views from the open deck in the back! This canal tour by Amsterdam Boats departs from a central location, near the Amsterdam City Hall.

Luxury Canal Cruise with Dinner by Amsterdam Boats

Private canal cruise in a luxury small open boat

Do you want to discover the Amsterdam canals in privacy, at your own pace? Do you want to be able to set out the route? Book a private cruise with the luxury open boat from Amsterdam Boat Trips! Their comfortable, electric boat is fitted with cushions and offers enough space to accommodate up to 16 guests. It’s a perfect activity with family, friends, colleagues or business partners. Perfect for a birthday baby shower, bachelor party (sorry no strippers), a proposal or business event. In case you have something to celebrate, you can even top-up your booking with unlimited drinks. The minimum duration of a private cruise is 1,5 hours, but can be extended to three hours. Reservations are a must, as availability is limited.

Private cruise in luxury open boat

Hop-on-Hop-off cruise – over 1,5 hour tour during 24 hours

The Hop-on-Hop-off boat tour is the most flexible canal cruise one can find. It allows you to see the city at your own pace. The boat tour takes you on a ride throughout the city. The boat stops at 7 different stops and you can get off at any point of choice. Among the seven stops, you’ll find Amsterdam Central station, Rijksmuseum, the Albert Cuyp market, Anne Frank House, Gassan Diamonds and the Hermitage Museum. Feel free to get off at any point you like. Your ticket is valid for a full 24 hours between 9:15 and 19:00 and there are boats stopping every 25 minutes or so. In between the stops you’ll have plenty of time to visit one of the museums or do some shopping. When you’re ready to go back to finish the cruise no reservation is required, just hop on and hop off as much as you like. Regular price for the 24-hour ticket is €27,50, but if you book online you’ll be rewarded with €2,50 discount for each ticket.

The Hop on-Hop off cruises can also be booked for 48-hours and can be combined with a bus tour. Visit the following page on all available hop on hop off tours for more information and prices.

Citysightseeing - hop on hop off cruise

– Order your tickets with our exclusive discount code ‘THINGSTODO10’ and get 10% extra off –

Combitickets and discounted canal cruises

Obviously the canal cruises are a big thing in Amsterdam. It’s a unique way of viewing the city’s beautiful canals. So for those that are looking for a bargain deal canal cruise check out the complete list of canal cruises and available discounts below. The best discounts are often found in a combination ticket with a museum or excursion included. Choose wisely!

Cruise / tourPriceDiscount
Classic canal cruise: Leidsekade€ 14,40€ 4,60
Hop-on-Hop-off bus & boat 24h€ 20,70€ 6,80
Rijksmuseum & canal cruise€ 30,50€ 4,-
Xtracold Ice bar + canal cruise€ 27,90€ 14,05

Sail a small boat yourselfrent a boat for canal cruise

Do you want to be completely free and decide yourself which canals to cruise, have a picnic, drink or stay on the canals for hours? Then there’s the option to hire a small electric boat and sail it yourself This might very well be the coolest way to explore the waterways of Amsterdam! Especially when you’re with a group of people renting a boat in Amsterdam is a fun and cheap alternative for the canal cruises with a classical canal boat. There are multiple companies that rent out small electric boat that you can sail yourself. They are easy to sail and the electric propulsion provides a smooth, comfortable cruise over the Amsterdam canals. So put your captain hat on and start your own adventure. An electric rental boat will cost you somewhere around €30,- per hour. A boat carries up to 6 people so that’s only €5,- per person when fully loaded. Sounds like a heck of a deal!

Saloon boat Iris - Amsterdamboatcenter cruise

Luxury 90 minute Salon Boat Cruise

Would you like to cruise the Amsterdam Canals in style? This authentic, luxury salon boat might be for you! The fully restored ship is electrically powered and heated for a comfortable, though environmentally friendly cruise. During the cruise, you’ll get to see the best highlights of Amsterdam. The capacity of the boat is a maximum of 30 passengers. During the cruise, a knowledgeable skipper will provide live commentary in English. Coffee and tea are complimentary.

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Rent a canal bike

Looking for some playful fun out on the Amsterdam canals? Don’t miss out on the canal bike rentals! The canal bikes are a really cool way to cruise the canals of Amsterdam. Especially when travelling with kids this fun ride can’t be missed. Do keep in mind that you won’t see as much of the city as with any sort of boat as it does take a lot of energy to keep the bike moving on the water. The canal bikes will offer you a good workout though, whether you like it or not.

Renting a canal bike will cost you about € 8,- per person per hour. For the canal bikes a deposit of €20,- is required.